Speech to Informal Council of EU Environment Ministers by Jos Dings, executive director, Transport & EnvironmentAmsterdam, 14 April 2016Thank you Madam President for the invitation and for organising this very timely and relevant event.I represent Transport & Environment, a Brussels-based environmental group specialising in sustainable transport, with 50 member organisations in 27 countries across this beautiful continent.
Governments last month failed even to agree on developing a work plan to determine shipping’s ‘fair share’ contribution to meeting the goals of the Paris deal. Despite there being a clear majority in support of the move, a minority led by China, Brazil, Russia, South Africa and the Cook Islands blocked a consensus to move forward. The issue was put back on the agenda of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) environment committee for when it next meets in October.
The EU’s failure to push for a ban on the use by ships of heavy fuel oil (HFO), a toxic pollutant, when operating in the Arctic is a major cause of concern, a group of eight environmental NGOs has said. However, they welcomed the European Commission’s focus on climate mitigation and adaptation strategies and on protecting the environment in its new Arctic strategy.
The shipping sector’s response to the Paris climate agreement was left in disarray after governments attending a meeting of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) today were unable to even agree on a work plan to develop a ‘fair share’ contribution to the goal of limiting temperature increases to 1.5/2°C. The IMO could only manage to kick the can down the road to its next meeting in October.
In this letter, the members of the Coalition for Higher Ambition – businesses, cities, trade unions and civil society groups – write to the heads of states and governments ahead of the signing ceremony of the Paris agreement on Friday, 22 April. The coalition urges the EU to adjust 2030 and 2050 greenhouse gas reductions targets to the long-term goals of the Paris agreement. It also highlights the need for strong economy-wide EU targets (including international aviation and shipping).
The European Parliament today called on EU governments to align the 2030 EU climate target with the Paris Agreement and introduce EU measures to cut emissions from aviation and shipping. In a letter sent to Europe’s ministers of transport and environment, the heads of seven political groups of the Parliament's environment committee also demanded greater climate ambition at both ICAO and IMO, the UN bodies charged with regulating emissions from aircraft and ships respectively, and at EU level.
Newly-built ships covered by the design fuel efficiency standard have much the same efficiency performance as those not covered, according to a new independent study. This is because the current targets are too weak, say T&E.
A coalition of 26 European NGOs has called on European Ministers for Transport and Environment to, at their informal joint meeting next week, support effective measures at international and European level to rein in emissions from international shipping and aviation. Emissions from these sectors are growing rapidly, with aviation responsible for almost 5% of global warming and shipping responsible for 3% of CO2 emissions. Unless action is taken, their growth will undermine the Paris Agreement's objectives. Action must be taken at ICAO and IMO level, and at EU level where the sectors must contribute to the target of reducing emissions by at least 40% by 2030.
Shipping’s only legally binding climate measure is not stimulating the uptake of new technologies or driving efficiency improvements, according to a new independent study. Since 2013 newly-built ships subject to the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) design fuel efficiency standard – known as the EEDI – have performed much the same as those not covered, the report for NGOs Seas At Risk (SAR) and Transport & Environment (T&E) finds.